Great Northern: Warning
LA indie pop group Great Northern just released their newest opus and you can quickly tell they have poured their souls into it. What we’ve been hearing at Insomnia Radio the last few days is quite impressive.
“It’s like being intimate with total strangers.” That is how Rachel Stolte of Great Northern describes the feeling of performing live and creating a connecting with her audience. The sentiment could be duly applied to the band’s latest release, “Remind Me Where the Light Is”, on which Stolte and co-writer Solon Bixler pour so much of themselves into their highly personal lyrics and wistful melodies.
On their sophomore album, Bixler and Stolte are not afraid to delve into darkness. Taking that risk helped them find beauty in sadness, the uplifting elements in the devastating. “We took a lot more risks by entering uncomfortable territory that wasn’t touched on the last record,” Bixler says. “We dug deeper into the unpleasant, which helped us to find the beauty.”
Experiencing the negative to find the positive is something Bixler and Stolte are familiar with. “Both of us had been heading in unfulfilling directions creatively,” Bixler says of their situations prior to coming together. “When we started Great Northern, we finally felt like we were starting something that truly expressed what was in our hearts and minds.”
Their sophomore release, Remind Me Where the Light Is is the work of a more seasoned group, one that has been on the road for months, missed home, seen the world, and returned not entirely prepared to sit still.
“When we started writing songs for [this album],” Stolte says, “we had just come off a year and a half of touring and didn’t really know what was next. So we bought some recording equipment, set up a studio in our house [in LA], and just started writing. Almost immediately it was like the emotional flood gates opened. We would listen to stuff and be like ‘Wow! So that’s how we’ve been feeling about that.
“It became very clear to both of us that we were going to do things a little differently this time, and in many ways we were outgrowing something. An old part of ourselves had died.”
That passing is shown literally (the use of piano is drastically reduced on Remind Me Where the Light Is) as well as lyrically and melodically, where melancholy becomes determination, and atmospherics are replaced with driving rhythms. [ioda]